Every month we spend an evening scouring the pages of the latest issue of Previews and pick the titles we are looking forward to the most. This month it's the June issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in August 2019.
Matt C: Marvel clearly saw DC celebrating in style as both Action Comics and Detective Comics reached their thousandth issues and thought, "We'll have some of that!" The 1000th issue selling point makes no sense here in any other context than thumbing their nose at the competition (why not just call it Marvel 80th Anniversary Special or something?) but I guess some wise folks in the marketing department felt this was the best way to maximise sales. What really sells it is the people involved, and in all honesty they could call it Marvel Wants All Your Money #1 and we'd happily oblige with the talent on board for this issue. I can't list them all here, but a selection of names includes Neil Gaiman, Chris Claremont, J. Michael Straczynski, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Walt Simonson, Alex Ross, Roy Thomas and Jeff Lemire, which should give you an idea of the quality of creators the House of Ideas have roped in. Exactly how much space they'll each get to do their thing is unclear but there's bound to be some golden nuggets in here. And if not, it appears Marvel Comics #1001 is coming out in September...
Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Ramon Villalobos
Kenny J: Wildstorm’s answer to the X-men gets a new book and a new creative team, namely Warren Ellis and Ramon Villalobos. There are few teams that seem so closely tied to their creators' styles as this one - Jim Lee’s original run and Joe Casey’s from the early 2000s are worlds apart - so I’m very interested to see what Ellis and Villalobos produce. I thoroughly enjoyed Ellis’ run on The Wild Storm and the universe at large but this has been promised as a far more action packed title. Villalobos’s art seems perfect for a book like this, reminding me as it does of New X-men era Frank Quitely - so much so that he worked on the E Is For Extinction Secret Wars tie-in; a strange and tangled story that I enjoyed mostly due to his art. Let’s hope he brings that level of brilliance to the Wildstorm Universe.
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Mike Deodato Jr
Dark Horse $3.99
James R: Well, of course I’m getting this - the name ‘Jeff Lemire’ would guarantee a purchase from me, but beyond it being the latest work from the Canadian comics king, it’s a great idea. Back when What If? from Marvel was in its halcyon days, one of its most celebrated titles was ‘What if Conan the Barbarian was transported to modern day New York?’ Now in 2019, Jeff Lemire is putting his own spin on that question with Beserker Unbound. Lemire describes it as having “magic, action, and blood, but it also has heart. And it’s not at all what it first appears to be.” As if that wasn’t cool enough, the art is by the great Mike Deodato Jr. in his first project since leaving Marvel. The previews looks superb (as you’d expect from Deodato) and I genuinely can’t wait to get my hands on this one and unleash my inner barbarian!
Writer: Anthony Cleveland
Art: Jeferson Sadzinski
Mad Cave Studios $3.99
Andy H: One of the best things about searching through the pages of Previews each month is finding something a little bit different and independent publisher Mad Cave Studios caught my attention this time round. Show's End is set in 1920s Georgia, where a young runaway seeks refuge in a travelling show. Amongst the freaks and sideshow attractions she is deemed to be 'too ordinary' but we're promised that she is 'hiding a secret more freakish than anyone could ever imagine!' I know little of Mad Cave and even less of creators Anthony Cleveland and Jeferson Sadzinski but the preview pages look promising and have intrigued me enough to give this title a fair crack of the ringmaster's whip.
Writer: Christian Ward
Art: Christian Ward, Sami Kivelä & Dee Cunnife
Dark Horse $3.99
Jo S: A bolt of anticipatory lightning zips down my spine these days when Christian Ward's name pops up on a creator list and this one is no exception. A wacky twist on Al Capone and his world of gangsters turns the wise guys into wizards, by means of a magical drug which confers otherworldly powers on the mobster consuming it. Ward is the writer here, and is due to share art duties with Sami Kivelä, whose stylish work on Abbott was, for me, the best part of the book, along with colourist Dee Cunnife who lights up the blood-streaked dark of the Redneck series. Will sharp suits and Tommy guns in violin cases be replaced with wizard robes and wands? Let's hope not!
Writer: Leah Williams
Art: David Baldeon
Kenny J: If you can’t get enough of Deadpool and you like your comics postmodern then it doesn’t get more fourth wall breaking than Gwenpool, the amalgam of Wade Wilson and Spidey’s long dead girlfriend. For me she was one of the stand out stars of Kelly Thompson’s recently wrapped West Coast Avengers. Now, under the pen of author and relatively new comics writer Leah Williams and Domino artist David Baldeon, Gwendolyn Poole is referencing the events of Civil War with a wink and a nod as she attempts to unmask Spider-Man. With their convoluted relationship and Parker’s strained friendship with Deadpool, I’m hoping for in-jokes galore.
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Kris Anka
Matt C: I'm a bit picky with fantasy stuff - it's not generally my genre of choice - and quite possibly I would have passed this by when flicking through Previews if it wasn't for the name at the top of the credits: Chip Zdarsky. He's been on fire over at Marvel these past few months with Daredevil, Invaders and Spider-Man: Life Story, so why doubt that he can bring the same storytelling abilities to a tale of war and adventure in a fantastical realm? Kris Anka looks like he'll add a melancholic tinge to the proceedings based on the preview art I've seen, and with just two over-sized issues to pick up, this seems like a great opportunity to let Zdarsky take us somewhere a little different from where he has lead us of late.
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Dan Mora
BOOM! Studios $3.99
Andy H: I've always loved a good story that stems from Arthurian myth. Knights of the Round Table, Merlin and good old King Arthur himself all fascinate me and Camelot 3000 remains one of my favourite comic series to this day so I won't miss the chance to check out this new miniseries from Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora. All good stories in this genre need a keeper/guardian to let us know when the brown stuff hits the fan. Granny and ex-monster hunter Bridgette McGuire is such a person and when an unnamed evil threatens England she's out of the retirement home faster than Steve McQueen in The Great Escape! With the help of her grandson Duncan (who, of course, is oblivious to Granny's kick-ass past) and a cache of monster hunting weapons, the battle to save the country begins. I'm looking forward to see Gillen's take on the Arthurian legend and Dan Mora is a great artist to bring this world of myth and magic to life. As a bonus, this first part is an oversized issue too.